A/N: Alright, so this is a little plot that I have had spinning in my head for some time and it was making me unable to finish my other stories. So now that I have cranked it out and actually put it down, I feel much better and hopefully can make more headway on my other stories. But I do hope that you liked this one-- this concept has always struck me as being a fun one.
This story takes place immediately after The Lost Colony. Enjoy!
A Prince's First Love
"Where are we?"
Holy and Artemis turned around in circles, trying to piece together everything that had just happened. Qweffor had just used his increased magic to return the two of them to their own dimension.
"I assume that we are back in our own time," Holly said, looking up at Artemis. The two of them looked at each other, eyes widening at the same moment.
"You have two different colored eyes," Artemis said to Holly, cocking his head to the side. One of the elf's expressive hazel eyes seemed to have been replaced with one of his own cold blue ones.
"You do too!" Holly said, pointing to Artemis. The boy mussed over this fact, a small smile creeping on his face as though he found the whole situation amusing. Holly immediately went up to him, grabbing his arms and carefully studying his fingers.
"What are you trying to do?" The boy asked, yanking away his arm. Holly started to check the boy all over.
"We obviously traded eyes," Holly said, "I just want to make sure that none of our other body parts were switched as well".
"I think I would have noticed if any other part of my body didn't belong to me," Artemis drolled, "after all, we have very different proportions. Such a change would be obvious".
"That's true," Holly said, biting her lip, noting that she once again had lost to Artemis' calculating logic.
Suddenly, a long black car with heavily tinted windows pulled up to the two of them. Artemis and Holly immediately looked up, a bit wary at the intrusion. Holly's hand immediately flew to her belt, where she usually stored her neutralizer; only to find the space empty. The gun must have fallen off on our way here, the elf thought ruefully, how perfect.
A tall man in a black suit and sunglasses stepped out of the front seat, looking visibly relieved when he laid eyes on Artemis and Holly. He immediately took his phone and made a call.
"I found both of them," the man said into the phone, "I will bring them back to the palace right now".
"Palace?" Holly whispered, confused. The man in the black suit stowed away his phone and made his way over to the pair of them.
"Your highness, you disappeared quite suddenly," the man said to Artemis. Holly looked at the boy in confusion.
"Your highness?" she whispered to him. Artemis' face betrayed no emotion, but he shrugged his shoulder fractionally as to show that he too had no idea what was going on.
"You did not inform us that you wanted to take his highness' classes outdoors today, Lady Holly" the man continued, looking down at Holly. The elf gaped at the man, not quite knowing what to say. Classes? Lady Holly? What was going on here?
"It… it must have slipped my mind," Holly said. The window of the car rolled open and the driver called out to the group.
"Pardon me for interrupting, but the prince has an appointment with the reporter from Irish Times in an hour"
"Very true," the man in the suit said, bowing and pointing to the car, "if you are ready your highness…"
Artemis moved towards the car mechanically, Holly following right behind him. The boy's mind reeled, calculating the situation that they were in. Both the man in the suit and the driver had heavy Irish accents and there had been mention of the Irish Times, so it was obvious that they were now in Ireland. But what was this talk about him being a prince?
Artemis and Holly slid into the back seat of the car. The man in the black suit slid into the front seat.
"Would his highness like some silence to prepare himself for the interview?" he asked. Artemis nodded his head, his face still stoic. The man pressed a button and immediately a plate of thick, tinted glass rose from the back of the seats, creating a barrier between the front and back seats. Holly let out a sigh of relief. Now her and Artemis could talk without the other two men in the car hearing them.
"What is going on?" Holly asked as soon as the glass went up. Artemis leaned back in his seat.
"For the first time in my life, I really have no clue," Artemis answered, still deep in thought.
"What is all this talk about you being a prince?" Holly asked, "I never knew you were from royalty"
"Don't be ridiculous," Artemis answered, "Ireland hasn't been ruled by a monarch since we gained independence".
"Do you think that we accidently got off on that time then?" Holly asked, "back before Ireland independence?"
"That is an even more ridiculous thought," Artemis said to the elf, "do you really think that there were cars or cell phones back then? We are obviously in modern times"
"Can you be sure?" Holly asked. Artemis sighed and tapped on the glass. Immediately, it lowered a bit.
"Yes, your highness," the man in the suit called.
"Can you tell me what year it is?" Artemis asked. There was a few seconds of silence from the front, as though the man was wondering what was wrong with Artemis. And of course, he should wonder, it was a little absurd for a person not to know the year they were living in.
"It is 2009, your highness," the man said, "in the 88th year of the Lion Kingdom"
'The Lion Kingdom?" Holly whispered to Artemis, who just waved to the elf to be silent.
"Thank you," Artemis said, "that is all for now". The glass pane went up once more.
"What are they talking about?" Holly demanded, "if this is present day Ireland, then what is all of this? And what is all this business about the 88th year of the Lion Kingdom?"
"88 years ago," Artemis mussed, "is when Ireland gained its independence from the United Kingdom"
"But they didn't instate an Irish monarchy then, did they?" Holly asked. Artemis shook his head slowly.
"Not in the history that we learned," Artemis said, leaning back, "none of this makes much sense".
"Do you think someone is playing a joke on us?" Holly asked. Artemis just shrugged, something else bothering him.
"What is the matter?" Holly asked him, noting that something way wrong, "beside this whole royalty thing".
"The man said it was 2009," Artemis said, turning to Holly, "that is three years after we left".
"So we've been gone for three years?" Holly asked. Artemis nodded, his frown growing deeper.
"But the way that the man greeted us, it wasn't the greeting one would normally get if they had just been found after three years," Artemis said, "it was as though we had only been missing for a few hours at the most".
"And the man actually knew me," Holly added in, "you, Butler, and Minerva are the only three people who even know about fairies. How would he know me?"
Artemis just shook his head, sitting forward. What was happening? The car suddenly stopped. Holly just groaned.
"What is going on now?" she asked, exasperated. Artemis' door opened and the boy saw the driver standing there.
"We have arrived at the palace, your highness," he said. Artemis nodded, noting how annoying the 'your highness' was getting. Slowly Artemis got out of the car. He turned to see that the man in the suit had opened Holly's door. The small elf scooted out of the car and turned around gaping. Artemis followed her mismatched eyes and caught the first glimpse of what was apparently his home.
The boy, having grown up in Ireland, had seen a fair number of old, crumbling castles. And being of a wealthy and luxurious sort of circle, he had also seen countless large manors and mansions. But none of those could ready him for the sight that was the Royal palace.
Even Artemis, who was a usually stoic and reserved boy couldn't helped but feel wonder when he gazed upon the palace. It was a good 6 or 7 times larger than the Fowl Manor. Instead of the traditional cold stone of traditional castles, the walls of the palace were glistening white. There roofs were domed and decorated with gold leave and various stones, and there were wide archways and marble breezeways everywhere.
"This is the palace?" Holly wondered out loud. The man in the black suit shot her a slightly bewildered look.
"Of course," the man said, "this is the Lion Palace"
"This is your house" Holly mouthed to Artemis. The boy just looked away. As if he hadn't deducted that much for himself already.
"Your highness, if you would please," the man said, motioning to the palace. Artemis nodded and started to walk over to the door, Holly hurrying beside him. The path that led from the driveway to the palace was flanked by guards, each of who bowed to both Artemis and Holly as they passed by.
"Hey, Artemis," Holly whispered to the boy. "do you think I'm royalty too?"
"Who knows," Artemis said lightly, "for all we know you could be my wife". Holly gaped up at him.
"Stop saying such frightening things!" she whispered harshly to him. Artemis gave off a small smile.
They finally reached the door of the palace and immediately two maids scurried over and opened it. Artemis nodded towards them and entered the palace. The main room was just as extravagant and large as Artemis would have imagined it to be, with marble and gold leaf everywhere.
"This place in unbelievable," Holly said, taking everything in.
"Her royal highness the Lion Queen"
Artemis and Holly looked up as a suited man announced the entrance of a very familiar looking figure.
"Mother," Artemis said in relief as Angeline walked into the main room. She looked exactly as Artemis remembered her, except she was wearing a formal dress and there was a large crown on her head.
"There you are!" she breathed, rushing over towards them, "the reporter came earlier than expected, so you need to get ready right away." As if on cue, a woman in her twenties appeared in the doorway. Her hair was tied back in a bun and she wore a pair of thick-framed black glasses that gave her a severe look.
"Sorry for showing up earlier than scheduled," the woman said, "it is just that this is the first interview that high highness is giving and the Times wanted to make sure that nothing happened".
"Of course," Angeline said fluidly to the woman.
"The Crown Prince can take as much time as he likes to prepare," the reporter continued. Angeline turned towards Artemis.
"Would you like a few moments to prepare?" she asked. Artemis nodded his head. Holly pulled at his shirt from behind him.
"Is it alright if Holly helps," Artemis asked, hoping that his mother, like all the guards, would know Holly.
"Of course," Angeline said, waving away the comment as she turned towards the reporter, "you are acquainted with Lady Holly, I am sure. She has been the prince's tutor since he was small. She is also a bit of a court magician as well, none of her predictions have ever been false".
"I do not believe there is a person in the kingdom who had not heard of the talents of Lady Holly," the reporter said respectfully. Holly gaped at the two. Court magician and Artemis' tutor? What kind of world were they in right now?
"Come Holly," Artemis said, grabbing the elf's shoulders. Angeline saw the motion and immediately held Artemis' arm, leading him away.
"Let me show you where the interview will be held," she said, "you can prepare in there for a while"
Artemis nodded and let himself be dragged by his mother, Holly giving the pair a few steps' worth distance. It seemed as though Angeline had a few things to discuss with Artemis.
As soon as they were hearing distance away from the reporter, Angeline turned towards her son.
"Artemis," she said, whispering at him harshly, "I have forgiven you and covered up for all of your defiances in the past, but you cannot ruin this interview today. It is of the highest importance".
"Of course, mother," Artemis said. Part of him was just playing along with the woman's words, but another part of his was truly frightened by the fire in her eyes. After all, the lady standing in front of him looked exactly like his mother, and seeing her so angry made the boy feel like a toddler that had misbehaved.
"With the royal family in the state that it is right now, it is crucial that these next two months play out exactly how we planned," she said. Artemis looked at her, trying not to express all the confusion that he felt.
"Planned?" he said. Angeline sighed and turned away from him.
"I do not know what we are going to do with you, boy," she said, pinching the bridge of her nose. She turned towards Holly.
"I expect you to make sure that everything goes smoothly, Lady Holly," Angeline said to her. Holly immediately nodded, though she was even more clueless than Artemis. Angeline pointed to a door near them.
"The interview will commence in there in ten minutes time. That should give both of you enough time to prepare and compose yourselves," she said, casting a reproachful look at Artemis before walking away.
Artemis grabbed Holly and pushed her into the room, following behind her and closing the door shut.
"Holly, what is the possibility that Qweffor sent us into a dimension that wasn't ours?" he asked.
"What?" Holly cried, getting over the shock of being so unceremoniously thrown into the room.
"Qweffor said that he could send us back into our dimension, but he also said that it wasn't certain. Is there any chance that we managed to accidentally fall into another dimension? In a dimension in which after independence, the irish people deiced to enact a monarchy rather than a democratic government? " he asked. Holy looked around.
"That is a possibility," she said softly.
"That is the only explanation I can come up with right now, unless in the three years we have been absent, Ireland has suddenly taken on a monarchy and decided to place my parents at the head of it," Artemis said.
"Then… what are we supposed to do?" Holly asked. Artemis shook his head.
"That I am still wondering," he said, "how could this have happened? Getting stuck in another dimension where I end up being royalty sounds like the plot from some sort of cheesy fantasy story"
"Well it seems as though the people in this dimension and our dimension are the same, right?" Holly asked, "though your mother is not a queen in our dimension, she still looks the same, right?"
"Of course," Artemis said.
"Then that must mean that Qweffor exists in this dimension as well. We just need to find him and get him to send us back to where we belong" Holly said, hopefully. Artemis just gave her a look and she right away how improbable that was. Qweffor existed outside of time, and if they managed to find him some how, he most likely wouldn't be able to send them through the dimensions again. Not to mention how dangerous it would be.
"Who knows where we would end up if we were sent again," Holly wondered out loud. She stood still for a moment before grabbing a pillow from a nearby couch and throwing it at the wall. Artemis jumped back a bit, surprised by the sudden action.
"Have you lost your mind?" he asked, looking at the elf. Holly turned towards him.
"I am frustrated," she said, "we had one chance to get back home and this happened. What can we do now? We are stuck in the godforsaken palace forever!"
"It's not too bad," Artemis mussed. Holly turned to him.
"What do you mean? How is this not that bad?"
Artemis turned to a picture on the side table that showed his mother, father, and himself, all dressed in very regal clothing.
"Those who matter most to me are here," he said, "it is not as bad as it could be".
"That is fine for you to say," she said, "you have your family and you're a prince. You got the better end of this deal. What about me? All of my friends from Haven are gone. I've even lost the job I loved and am now stuck being your tutor and some sort of court laughingstock".
"Court magician," Artemis corrected.
"Wonderful, so I am going to have people coming up to me and asking me to read their tea leaves or sheep innards now," she moped, falling down in one of the couches.
"Holly," Artemis said, "endure. I am sure there is something that can be done".
"What about the people in our dimension?" Holly asked, "will we be dead to them forever?"
"All those people are here now," Artemis said. Holly scoffed at him.
"You are taking this rather well," she sneered. Artemis sighed and sat down on a coach near Holly.
"What else can I do?" he asked. Just then the reporter came into the room. Both Artemis and Holly stood up straight, looking at her.
"I am sorry," she said, bowing immediately, "but the Queen said that it was alright for me to come to interview now".
Artemis just nodded at the woman and she immediately sat down on one of the countless couched, taking out a notebook. Suddenly a very familiar figure entered the room. Artemis' eyes lit up.
"Butler," he whispered as the large man came and stood behind the reporter. The woman looked up and was suddenly taken aback by the large man's presence.
"Oh hello," she said quickly. Butler nodded at her.
"Hello," he said, "my name in Domovoi Butler. I am in charge of all internal affairs in the Lion palace and also represent the Fowl royals in the press"
"Oh," the reporter said, looking confused.
"The Queen requested my presence to make sure that everything goes smoothly," Butler said. The reporter nodded, still clearly frightened by the giant man.
"That is very thoughtful of the Queen," she said. Artemis almost snorted. It was obvious his mother sent Butler to make sure that he didn't say anything to ruin the reputation of the family. He had only been in this world for about an hour and he already knew that.
"Shall we start?" The reporter asked. Artemis nodded.
"It is common knowledge that the Crown Prince is known to be quite the man around town. He had gained a reputation as being the premiere partier in Ireland ," the reporter said, "is there any place in particular that his highness favors above the rest when going out?"
Artemis and Holly both looked at each other in surprise. Partier? Did this woman have the right person in mind?
"No…no place stands out in particular," Artemis said quickly, "as long as I have people I enjoy around me, it is enough"
Butler nodded silently from his place behind the reporter.
"Very well put. And speaking of people that the Prince enjoys, is their any validity in the rumors of a relationship between his highness and the famous Irish-Brazilian actress Minerva Paradizo?" the reporter asked. Artemis' head shot up.
"Minerva," he whispered. She was an actress?
"The royal family informed the Times that the Crown Prince would not be answering any questions of that kind," Butler said.
"Very sorry," the reporter said quickly, "I seem to have gotten ahead of myself. On to the next question—what the prince's thoughts on the King's physical condition?"
"His condition?" Artemis asked. The reporter nodded.
"It must be difficult for his highness to have to watch his father battle such a terrible illness," she continued. Artemis felt a pit grow in his stomach. His father was ill? How ill was he? What did he have?
"Of course I am worried about my father's condition," Artemis said, "the whole family is. We wish every day for him to recover quickly". How serious was his father's illness for it to be mentioned in the interview?
The reporter turned to Holly, "It is true that your husband is the royal physician, is it not? Do you know what type of treatments he is trying on the King?"
Holly's eyes grew wide and her mouth fell open. She turned to Artemis, feeling as though she was in a daze. Her husband?
"The Royal family will provide you with a packet that contains all of this technical information," Butler said smoothly. The reporter nodded and turned back to Artemis, leaving Holly fretting to herself. Her husband? She was married in this dimension? To who?
"Now for the question that everybody in Ireland wants to know," the reporter said, smiling widely, "a gossip paper ran a story last week about the Crown Prince being engaged to a student at the Royal Arts Academy. Is this true?"
Artemis froze. His eyes moved instinctively to Butler. The large man nodded.
"That is true," he said. "The royal family will issue a formal announcement by the end of the week. The wedding is scheduled for next month and the Prince's official coronation will follow soon after. We all have faith that the Crown Prince will be able to lead Ireland and are also very grateful to him for taking the crown in light of his father's delicate state".
Artemis stared at the sofa, trying to digest everything. Holly was married, Minerva was a famous actress, he was engaged, his father was ill, and in a month he was supposed to be king of Ireland. If one thing was to be certain, it was that this dimension certainly was not eventless…
A/N: haha, wow, it felt good to get that plot out! It has been bothering me for weeks now. What do you think about it? Any comments are always welcome and appreciated. Gracias y besos!